ANOTHER wave of Covid-19 is expected in Scotland this winter as latest figures showed the number of people in hospital with coronavirus increased 12.6% last week.

In the week ending October 9, there were on average 838 patients in hospital with Covid-19, up from 744 the previous week, Public Health Scotland (PHS) data shows.

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Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said the Scottish Government is expecting another wave and urged anyone eligible for vaccination to take up the offer.

He said: “The clinical advice I gave to my chief medical officer from the national clinical director is that we should expect another Covid wave this winter.

“When we look at the Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures for the last couple of weeks, the trend has been relatively uncertain.

“But if we look at some of the other statistics that we’ve got, that helps to give us that broader picture.

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“It certainly seems like there’s some variance and we’re starting to see a bit of an uptick in some of our cases, so we’ll keep a really close eye on all of the data from waste water right the way through to ONS and everything in between.

“But we are expecting another Covid wave, so that’s why it’s so important if you’re eligible for vaccination, that you come forward and get yourself vaccinated. because we know that can help reduce your chances of being hospitalised and being severely ill.”

The Scottish Government said more than 1.3 million vaccines have been delivered to protect against the latest strains of flu and Covid-19.

The Covid-19 vaccine is being given at the same time as the flu jab where possible, and so far 94% of those invited have had both at the same appointment.

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More than two million people in Scotland will be offered both vaccines over the next three months.

Mr Yousaf said: “This impressive uptake is testament to the frontline staff who got us through the pandemic and continue to protect our population and NHS from the threats that winter brings.

“Scotland remains steadfast in the effort to protect everyone – continuing the huge success of the vaccination programme since it was first rolled out in December 2020.

“Covid-19 has not gone away and I call on everyone to take up the offer of a booster as soon as their invitation arrives to protect themselves, their families and the NHS.”

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On a positive note there were no coronavirus deaths recorded over the latest weekly period in the Scottish Borders for the first time since the week ending June 6.

This is only the sixth week this year where there have been no deaths recorded.

The latest figures from the UK coronavirus dashboard show a total of 293 people have died in the area including 82 in 2022.